Making the decision to place your daughter in a residential treatment therapeutic program should not come lightly. This is a decision made by parents who are at the end of their ropes and feel very concerned about their girl’s safety and future. Yet how can you tell when you have reached the point where residential treatment is the right and best option? Here are some questions you can ask to determine if a residential treatment therapeutic program is what your daughter needs.
1. Is Your Daughter in Danger?
Many girls struggle with behavioral and emotional issues. The changing hormones that come with the teen years can make behavior seem like a wave, going from difficult to good behavior regularly. One way you can know if your daughter’s behavior has crossed the line is if she is in danger.
Danger can come in two forms. A common problem with girls is self-harm. Girls who struggle emotionally often feel worthless, and they may turn to self-harming behaviors and threaten suicide as a result. If you’ve noticed your daughter hurting herself or have heard her talk about ending her life, you need help quickly.
A second way your daughter could be in danger is if she is participating in risky behaviors. Drug use, risky driving, alcohol consumption, and similar dangerous behaviors all indicate a need for professional intervention.
2. Have You Exhausted Other Options?
Girls struggling with behavior issues can sometimes make great strides with help at home. Regular counseling with a therapist or extreme changes at home can turn the behavior around. Sometimes medication for anxiety or depression helps. Before considering residential treatment, consider the other options you have to work with your daughter and encourage her to make a change.
Often parents with girls who are struggling will notice a cycle. The behavior will become too bad or dangerous, and the parents will put down an ultimatum that she will be placed in residential care if she does not change. She is able to change for a while, and the behavior cycles to a more positive place. Yet it never fails that she will crash back into the old habits again.
This type of habitual relapse into negative behavior is a clear sign that residential treatment is what is needed for your troubled teen daughter. If you have tried to help your daughter but find yourself on this cycle, it may be time to get more help.
3. Is Her Behavior Out of Control?
Does your family life revolve around your daughter’s mood or behavior? Is it completely out of control? Are you other children or even you as the parent suffering? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then residential treatment may be the right choice.
You love your daughter, but that doesn’t mean your daughter’s behavior and negative thinking should rule your family and home life. Sometimes getting outside help in a structured residential setting can help her tackle those negative thought processes and find positive ways to deal with her strong emotions.
4. Is She Asking for Help?
Girls who have behavioral struggles often feel trapped. They don’t want to behave the way they do, but they can’t find a way out. Often, they will ask for you to help them get better control. This is a clear indication that it’s time to seek professional treatment.
Your daughter may not ask for help outright. She may ask for it in more subtle ways or outright aggressive ways. Asking for help may look like:
- Sudden changes in grades or lack of interest in school
- Pulling away from friends and loved ones
- Secretive behavior
- Physically aggressive behavior
- Lack of hope that she can change
If you’re seeing these signs, one of the most loving things you can do for your daughter and her mental health is to seek the help of a residential treatment therapeutic program.
5. Have You Done Your Research?
Finally, make sure you have done your research to choose the right program. If you can, talk to graduates of the residential treatment therapeutic program you’re considering, and see if it gave them the tools they needed to make lasting change. Also, look for a program that will help you transition your child back to home life when they complete the program.
Girls with behavior issues need love and support, but they also need professional help sometimes. If you’ve reached the point where your daughter’s behavior is dangerous for her or for your family, then it’s time to get professional help. Zion Educational Systems offers an all-girls boarding school for troubled girls that can help your daughter overcome her negative thoughts and moods and become the happy girl she once was, all while continuing her education. We combine a rigorous academic program with proven, effective therapy to help girls make lasting change.
Remember, serious behavior issues rarely resolve on their own. Call ZES at 866-471-8579 to speak to one of our family counselors and see if our residential treatment therapeutic program could be the answer for your troubled teen daughter.